Sunday, January 20, 2019

Two thriller narrations on the Tamil big screen.


   Like all other events of life,films come and go.Like some events that refuse to leave our memory,there are a few films that create records and find a permanent place in our memory archives.Sometimes there are unforgettable scenes from movies that keep knocking at our mind's doors,for a retrospective enjoyment,as frequently as possible.It may be an exquisite  romantic sequence as the one we witnessed in the film Sathya,with Kamal and Amala travelling on a bus enriched by a background song tuned by Ilayaraja and Amala showing her biceps prompting Kamal to touch it gently,or the climax of a movie like Mozhi,where the newly wedded Prakashraj and Swarnamalya would come out of the Church and the latter would throw the bouquet in her hand at Jyothika, celebrating the moment of Jyothika agreeing to marry Prithviraj,.
   This blog already carries two articles with comparative notes on similar scenes,one involving a banana issue as shown in Padikkadha Medhai and Karkaatakkaaran and the other presenting the fiery argument between Lord Shiva and Poet Nakkeeran from Naan Petra Selvam and Thiruvilaiyaadal.
    Here comes a scenic comparison of two thriller narrations,one by Nagesh in Sridhar's Kaadhalikka Neramillai and the other by Rajinikanth in Sivaji Productions' Chandramuki. Kaadhalikka Neramillai was a run away comedy hit of the Nineteen Sixties.Each scene and each song of the film,would be worth revisiting.With new faces like Ravichandran and Kanchana,the film breezily travelled through the imagination of the audience,to remain as an immortal experience of film watching.However,the one liveliest scene which showed the film- crazy Nagesh,narrating a little bit of his proposed skit,to his parsimonious father T.S. Balaiah,became a stomach curdling comedy show.
    Incidentally,it was the stingy father who just for a time pass,would ask his son to narrate at least one scene from his film under discussion,so that he could decide if he could fund the production of the film.Thinking that his father's approach was genuine,Nagesh would tell his father that the scene would be horror filling and warn his father not to get rattled.To this Balaiah would say that only cowards would get bowled over by horrifying tales and he was a hard nut to crack. Taking his father's spirit of nonchalance as a challenge,Nagesh would squeeze out the thrilling effect of the scene,so as to bring the horror element into his facial expressions and tone delivery.
    In a series of closeup shots,Sridhar would vigorously present the ongoing fear psychosis transmitted by Nagesh,into the body language of T.S.Balaiah,with gripping words and groaning sounds.At one point,Balaiah would say that the story was really horror prone and his mind was completely disturbed to the extent of getting him unnerved.Soon Nagesh could be seen dreaming about the prospective financier of his film project showering money on his film skit. The pitch of the comedy on the contrary would be,Nagesh demanding money and T.S.Balaiah simply shrugging his shoulders and walking away,with a big 'No' to funds. The whole scene would throw the audience into reels of laughter. How many times we would have watched the scene both on the big and small screens and how many bouts of laughter would have made our jaws ache! 
    There can not be a second opinion that P.Vasu's Chandramugi was a blockbuster show of action,comedy,sentiment and suspense.Likewise,it is an agreed fact that the comedy sequences of the film involving the Superstar and the Vaigai storm {Vadivelu} was a clear breakthrough in generating spot humour.Though the film carried several comic episodes combing Rajini and Vadivelu,the one about the existence of ghosts was one of the super scenes of the film.
    The scene would go on like this. Vadivelu would ask Rajini if ghosts really existed.Suddenly  the superstar would burst out asking "What do you mean''.Soon his face would be seen moving to different angles,travelling between the graveyard and the jameen bungalow,inviting the howling of dogs,the sound of anklets worn by women ghosts and so on.Vadivelu would ask Rajini why he was twisting his face so many times,to create a world of horror.The subsequent audio visuals would be a consummate blending of the mood of horror with that of hilarious ruckus created by Rajini and its impact on a spontaneously gullible Vadivelu. At the end of the narration,when everyone would see Nayanthara wearing white dress and anklets crossing the door and Vadivelu swooning at the turn of events,the horror component would  become a perfect laughter bonanza for the audience.
    Creativity is at times a process of conceiving ideas and situations,similar to the ones from other creative sources.But what makes the difference is its presentation.The change of bottles quite often makes the wine taste different.These two thriller narrations exemplify the grandeur of film makers in using the same concept for an original presentation.In the former,a character actor fools a comedian.In the latter,the hero takes the comedian for a ride.Consequently comedy is generated at the cost of comedians.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Rajinikanth Rejuvenated.


      Rajinikanth is a special kind of hero because he inspires his fans more than any other actor.It is his electrifying energy levels in voice vibration and bodily movements that have remained as a treat to his most ardent fans whose last Rajini feast was Shankar's Sivaji. Following this most memorable film,Shankar and Pa.Renjith took Rajini on a totally different track of screen journey thereby making most film goers long for a Rajini film in the line of Baasha,Muthu,Padayappa Chandramukhi and Sivaji.The young director Karthik Subburaj deserves a special pat for presenting Rajini in his Petta,with a totally refreshing make up that takes the superstar to his forties.The first half of the film  reverberates with invigorating events comprising Rajini's invincible style,sense of humour and tempestuous action sequences.The most fascinating Rajini formula is born again and it looks as though Rajini himself breezily enjoyed his role play from the start till the end.
    In a star studded film,Rajini overtakes all the others by his singular determination to get vigorously closer to his starved fans.The huge cluster of stars includes Rajini's one time famous director Mahendran and the new generation popular actors like Vijay Sethupathi,Bobby Simha,Sasikumar, as well as the two women Trisha and Simran who had no chance to act with him so far. Besides there is the Bollywood fame Nawazuddin  Siddiqui as Villain.Anirudh's music takes the film to its height of enjoyment with mood upbeat songs. Tirru's cinematography and Vivek Harshan's editing are significantly responsible for the impressive show,the film makes.Yet another unusual beauty of the film is the in-between ringing of old tunes from films like Paava Mannippu,Sumaithangi,Paasamalar and Mullum Malarum,transmitting the glory of the immortal Tamil film songs of the Nineteen Sixties and Seventies for a nostalgic reverie.It is a reflection of the director's aesthetic quest to blend the old with the young.
   Though the events after the interval move on predicted lines the most celebrated climax of the film throws a couple of surprises that put Vijay Sethupathi in an unenviable predicament.The contrived scheme of actions carried on by the hero with epic references seem to raise an undercurrent of qualms and ethical questions,against the rightness of destroying the enemy through the back door. Vijay Sethupathi certainly stands victimized by the entangling manipulations of the hero.The concluding haughty laugh of the hero would draw more sympathy to Vijay Sethupathi sitting in absolute shock at the turn of events.
    What makes Petta an engaging movie is the travel of the Superstar with his unfailing trade mark genre of energy demonstration despite factors of ageing. Rajini has once again vindicated Shakespeare's maxim that 'age can not wither' him.The film will get into the nerves and emotions of his fans to stay firmly in their memory until a similar Rajini film is released.After all,they want to see their hero ever young and do the impossible in his inimitable style.  

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Jyothika's Jaunty role play of characters


      Most new age heroines of Tamil Cinema,have occupied only the glamour space and left the field with their glamour image.Exceptions in this regard would be Kushbu, Simran, Devayaani and Jyothika. Interestingly,all these four women were born in Mumbai the city celebrated for its Bollywood fame as much for its Dalal Street. All these four women have settled down in Tamil Nadu.While Kushbu remained as the heart throb of the Tamil film fans,Simran's dynamism as a brilliant dancer and an emotive actor is  well known to Tamil Cinema. Devayani consistently maintained her distinct features of role play.All these women need a separate tribute in the form of articles in this blog.This particular piece is aimed at showcasing and complimenting the exceptionally competitive acting calibre of Jyothika,who stepped into the corridors of Tamil Cinema as a debutante in the S.J Soorya directed film Vaali, starring Ajith {in dual roles}and Simran.Jyothika certainly made her mark in this blockbuster film through her intermittent appearances as the imaginary love interest of the hero. 
   As a heroine she was first paired with Suriya in Poovellaam Kettpaar and the duo continued their acting journey as fascinating pairs of Tamil cinema in the line of Gemini Ganesan and Savithri,S.S.Rajendran and R.Vijayakumari and A.V.M.Rajan and Pushpalatha and also became life partners like the other three pairs.The other great films of Jyothika with Suriya were,Uyirile Kalandhadhu,Perazhakan,Kaaka Kaaka,Mayaavi and Sillunnu Oru Kadhal. Jyothikaa was paired with Ajith three times {Mugavari,Poovellaam Un Vaasam and Raja}, twice with Vijay{Kushi and Thirumalai} Vikram{Dhool and Arul} and Madhavan{Dum Dum Dum and Piriyamaana Thozhi}.
   A repeated award winner for her best performance in several films Jyothika is reputed for her sparkling body language,with her sprightly eyes talking more than her mouth. S.J.Soorya's Kushi was a turning point in her acting career exhibiting her feminist gusto blended with an egoistic exterior and a poignant blow of emotions as the interior.In Vijay's combination the film became an extraordinary hit,fetching her the Film fare award for best actress.With the same acting vigour Jyothika won the best actress award of the Tamil Nadu Government three times for her amazing demonstration of ecstasy in acting,as the leading lady of films like Perazhakan, Chandramukhi and Mozhi made by Sashi Shankar {under the AVM banner} P. Vasu { produced by Sivaji Productions} and Radha Mohan respectively.
    Some of her roles that have impressively unfolded the power of womanhood were,that of a complex woman shuttling between contextual misconceptions and introspective realization of facts in Kushi, as a visually challenged woman and as an intensely romantic woman in dual roles in Perazhagan,as a positive person with an impeccable faith in the pure friendship of her husband with his childhood girl friend in Piriyamaana Thozhi,as a split personality inspired by hallucinating perceptions in Chandramukhi,as a speech impaired woman in Mozhi,as a brave and robust woman police  officer in Naachiyaar and as a desperate woman fighting for realizing her personal career dreams,both in 36 Vayadhinile{a remake of the Malayaalam hit How old are you?} and Kaatrin Mozhi {another remarkable show of Radha Mohan after his Mozhi},Jyothika's journey in the celluloid world has been one of absolute commitment, conviction and competence.
    Jyothika has delivered all her roles with a mood of consummate celebration of her performance zeal and powerful  depiction of characters.Her facial glory in compensating speechlessness in Mozhi and her perfect absorption of the split personality complexities governed by an intrinsic quest for hallucinations in Chandramukhi,were her highly creditable scores as an actor,capable of penetrating into the inner layers of the intricate roles she played. Director Radhamohan could be said to have pulled out Jyothika's levels of grandeur in acting, both in his Mozhi and Kaatrin Moazhi.There has always been a sense of casual ease and effervescence in Jyothikas' acting that has taken her to new heights.Her eyes express a kind of longing for a series of dreams and a passion to achieve her dreams.One of her indisputable assets has been her spirit of endearing herself to the audience by her performance zeal,rather than by a quest for glamour.
    She always acts with subdued grace,born of a subtle grasp of the context and a close relevance of her role play,in tune with the context.She displays a special vibration mode, through her facial expressions and tone delivery.Ripeness in performance does not come that easy to all.In reflecting self confident portrayals without any exaggeration,she is in the line of Radhika who has attained an incomparable status as an actor of individuality and force,like Savithri of the previous century.Some of Jyothika's unique roles for me are from Kushi, Perazhakan,Mozhi, Chandramuki,Priyamaana Thozhi,Naachiyaar and Kaatrin Mozhi. Her other memorable movies are Tenali with Kamal, Poovellaam Un vaasam with Ajith,Dhool with Vikram, Pachaikkili Muthucharam of Gautam Menon{in which she played a negative role} 36 Vayadhinile and Manirathnam's latest hit Chekka Chivandha Vaanam.Jyothika's powerful bold eyes and her distinct mode of presenting her vocal vagaries,have fixed her in audience memory,as a unique category of actress,with unflinching self confidence and exemplary grace.